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Thread: CLEAR BOARD SENSOR message- I know you'll say "get a new one" but not an option

  1. #1

    Exclamation CLEAR BOARD SENSOR message- I know you'll say "get a new one" but not an option

    I bought my Rev A machine from Sears 6yrs ago and the Board sensor has never worked right. It was sold as 'new', but I should have been more suspicious when it was a few hundred bucks off list price- as months, then years, went by, I kept finding more and more 'tells' that indicated someone had had their paws inside it- (tool marks/scratches/gouges, cracked plastic sensor mounts, etc) whether customer, Sears 'repair' people, or both. Don't ask me why I didn't just take it back- money, logistics, and the suspicion that their so-called service professionals would just 'turn it back around' weighed heavily.
    Most of the time I found ways to repair, compensate for, or otherwise work around glitches, mis-alignments, and busted parts, guides and such (always been pretty much able to fix anything) but a constant and frustrating problem with the board sensor gets me almost to the point of tearing my hair out. 90% of the time I want to run I have to be prepared for a battle to get it to finish, or often even start, the measurement phase. I've never gotten a higher reading than the mid-30s during the sensor check, but I'd eventually get by by 'fooling' it with taped-on white paper on the board. Nowadays, tho, I'm only getting mid-20 readings.
    I expect you're thinking "blow it out" or "wipe the window" but I've gone as far as removing it for disassembly/cleaning (found cracked sensor mount when locating the screws the first time- part of one of the screw tabs was missing) to remove fine dust that had gotten inside. Since then, sensor inspections found no dust in/around the light sources or light pipe because I used scotch tape pieces to better seal the enclosure before re-intallation. I do notice that I get higher (to my max) readings when I tighten down on the roller crank but it's then too hard for the X-axis drive to push the wood thru- I've had more than my share of dealing with belt tearing and busted gears- see my other posts.
    To add to the confusing aspect, it sometimes, if rarely, works fine right out of the gate- or will 'decide' to suddenly work after endless re-tries with no changes made.
    So, a couple of questions now that you have the basic picture: Am I alone in this type of anguish? I use light vs dark masking which seems to work best out of everything I've tried- anyone got better ideas? I also notice occasional sudden short reversals in drive direction in the middle of length- or span-wise measurement sweeps once I finally DO get past the initial 'Check Board Sensor' battle so could all of this be circuit board related? Is there a Board Sensor sensitivity adjustment potentiometer not mentioned in the available online docs?
    I haven't worked for a year and a half since my last job, have no income, and I'm waiting on the Feds to stop dragging their feet regarding my disability case, so you can see that I have NO funds available to swap out expensive sensors and boards until I stumble upon the 'cure'.
    Any other DIY tinkerers out there with any insights/ideas?

    Forgot to mention: 205 hrs motor run time, 21?? hrs ON time on clock.
    Last edited by eastcutty; 11-22-2012 at 10:51 AM. Reason: additional info

  2. #2
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    Just to be sure... the optical board sensor below the z-truck. Only comes in effect during width measurement and the last 3.5" of board length. If you are getting a tracking error at any other time... it is the brass roller. Are you using masking tape, on the bottom of the board? As far as reversing direction during measurements. That is usually caused by the board binding. The board is tapered, or the the guide is too tight.
    "Carved with Love"

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    But joy comes from helping others.

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  3. #3
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    Are you USA or Canada just Curious
    Henry

    Every one has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

  4. #4
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    I believe he is from Roanoke, Va.
    "Carved with Love"

    Happiness comes from within.
    But joy comes from helping others.

    Measure twice... and then sneak up on it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Well you have come to the right place.... WE are hear to help....

    If you do a search using the " " with the phrase like "Board Sensor" I have posted many posts and pictures that will help... As for the Reversing of directions, sounds like a frozen Rail Bearing or if it was the X Axis or Sand Paper Belt it could be a loose board or a binding board... Masking Tape on the track of the Brass Roller will help too....

    I am in the middle of a few things including cooking a Turkey.... Below is my Website Links. Send me a PM or email and a phone number and I can call you and walk you through a few things Friday or Saturday.

    Also look up the "250 Hour Maintenance" and read that thread. I expect you will need to do a complete cleaning and lubrication like I posted. I am betting you are going to find some frozen Roller Bearings due to dust getting into them... You can cover the sand paper belts and use WD-40 to wash out the dust. Just remember that the Silicone in the WD-40 IF it gets on your Wood can cause Fish Eyes where the Finish won't stick..... When I worked at the Sony Picture Tube Plant they BANNED WD-40 as it gets in the AIR and then sticks to the GLASS of the Picture Tube preventing the proper stuff to stick to it.... Like on the inside of the Screen....

    I am here to help.... Do some homework... WE will get you working... THE FSC Cable on your version can be the OLD 18 pin with thinner wires and CAN cause Board Detector Problems along with the Z Driving into the Board.... A newer 14 pin replaced it... BUT you must remember to look as you never want to put the new 14 pin into the 18 pin socket.... it will short out the computer... They sell a kit with the 14 pin cable and the 2 circuit boards on each end. BUT the 18 will WORK just fine until it FAILS... They don't make 18 pin cables anymore.

    AL
    Favorite Saying.... "It's ALL About the Brass Roller"..... And "Use MASKING TAPE" for board skipping in the X or breaking bits.

    Follow ME on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Accoun...50019051727074

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by badbert View Post
    Just to be sure... the optical board sensor below the z-truck. Only comes in effect during width measurement and the last 3.5" of board length. If you are getting a tracking error at any other time... it is the brass roller. Are you using masking tape, on the bottom of the board? As far as reversing direction during measurements. That is usually caused by the board binding. The board is tapered, or the the guide is too tight.
    Roanoke, VA, USA. Some of you know me and are familiar.
    Not 'tracking' issue, it's the board sensor under the z-truck, and the tracking edge of the board is crispy, flat and sharp. No tracking messages. Board ends are square, even, and level. Sensor behavior is always odd, often failing right after 'Load Board', ...or will span board, truck will 'stutter' at far side then keep going only to return and stop at the far edge then error there, ...or will PASS those, begin lengthwise run to fail at back end, ...or will run all the way back forward to fail at the carve outlet end.
    At any fail point, hitting ENTER (like on 'check tracking') does not reset, so starting over completely (aarg!) is the only fix. Note that I have 10x ON time as CARVE time, so you can see how much time I spend fighting with it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalwoodshop View Post
    Well you have come to the right place.... WE are hear to help....

    If you do a search using the " " with the phrase like "Board Sensor" I have posted many posts and pictures that will help... As for the Reversing of directions, sounds like a frozen Rail Bearing or if it was the X Axis or Sand Paper Belt it could be a loose board or a binding board... Masking Tape on the track of the Brass Roller will help too....

    I am in the middle of a few things including cooking a Turkey.... Below is my Website Links. Send me a PM or email and a phone number and I can call you and walk you through a few things Friday or Saturday.

    Also look up the "250 Hour Maintenance" and read that thread. I expect you will need to do a complete cleaning and lubrication like I posted. I am betting you are going to find some frozen Roller Bearings due to dust getting into them... You can cover the sand paper belts and use WD-40 to wash out the dust. Just remember that the Silicone in the WD-40 IF it gets on your Wood can cause Fish Eyes where the Finish won't stick..... When I worked at the Sony Picture Tube Plant they BANNED WD-40 as it gets in the AIR and then sticks to the GLASS of the Picture Tube preventing the proper stuff to stick to it.... Like on the inside of the Screen....

    I am here to help.... Do some homework... WE will get you working... THE FSC Cable on your version can be the OLD 18 pin with thinner wires and CAN cause Board Detector Problems along with the Z Driving into the Board.... A newer 14 pin replaced it... BUT you must remember to look as you never want to put the new 14 pin into the 18 pin socket.... it will short out the computer... They sell a kit with the 14 pin cable and the 2 circuit boards on each end. BUT the 18 will WORK just fine until it FAILS... They don't make 18 pin cables anymore.

    AL
    Cooking a turkey here myself.
    I don't doubt reversing is an artifact of a binding condition- as I mentioned, I get higher readout numbers the tighter down it's cranked, that's how I kept failing X-drive gears. All roller bearings are clear and free, BTW, I do regular maintenance. Compression rollers get 'lift and listen for switch to click' at each run with a 'feel and spin' to boot. Drive rollers are free from recent belt tweaking. I even spray down the upper surfaces of the belt platforms with silicone, and let them thoroughly dry before replacing belts to cut down on drag.
    Buying kits to repair design flaws aren't something I can afford at present time, and the ONLY money I'm bringing into the house is from pieces I sell. I could do well if I could rely on operation, I have heard of customers seeking out my new offerings in the stores.
    Last edited by eastcutty; 11-22-2012 at 01:36 PM.

  8. #8
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    OK sounds like you are on track with cleaning and lubrication. A test of the Board Sensor is to place a sheet of white copy paper on the board and crank down on it. The perfect reading is 156. A 90 would be a dirty board sensor.... IF you get a 90 or less I recommend removing the board sensor being careful not to pull down on the wires as they can slide down the SHARP edge of the track and cover and then pinch and short... I had that happen twice.... second time I took it apart and replaced the cable.

    So once you remove the cable I recommend cutting down the back side to remove that flap on the back...

    A few things can happen.... The Green Circuit Board will fall off.... This is not likely as you are still getting readings..... BUT as per the pictures you can see in the early years I had it happen often.... The 2 LED's and Sensor would snap off due to the vibration of the QC when I used it way past worn and got BB marks in the Bits. The High Speed Vibration caused the LED's to snap off....

    So I am going that the board will stay on the plastic holder.... Next Carefully remove the little plastic window from the Cut end... Clean it.... Blow the dust out of the sensor and insert the window and use tape to seal it all back up... Catch the edge of the Window.

    THIS should give you a 156 reading....

    As for the 18 to 14 pin.... It was a Improvement that was allowed after they took the Homing Sensor, Probe Data, and a RPM Sensor out of the Truck... Needing less wires... They switched to a 14 pin cable...They LAST LONGER.... And let more current get to the Z Motor...

    A TEST of the Cable with the Board Sensor... When you have that 156 reading.... Reach back and slowly roll and move the FSC Cable.. IF the Numbers drop off.... You have a bad cable.... as the ends are touching then not....

    Good Luck,

    AL
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSC06680_WEB.jpg   BS2.jpg   BS3.jpg   BS1.jpg  

    DSC08510_WEB.jpg   DSC08496_WEB.jpg   DSC09541_WEB.jpg   DSC09540_WEB.jpg  

    Last edited by Digitalwoodshop; 11-22-2012 at 01:58 PM.
    Favorite Saying.... "It's ALL About the Brass Roller"..... And "Use MASKING TAPE" for board skipping in the X or breaking bits.

    Follow ME on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Accoun...50019051727074

    www.PoconoDigitalWoodshop.com

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  9. #9

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    Great info there, AL! Those readings are what it says in the Manual. HAPPY THANKSGIVING by the way!
    Unfortunately, I've NEVER gotten a reading higher than 35 in all the times I've checked with copy paper, before or after disassembly/cleaning. I've even gone as far as adding paper to the entire length center and width measurement locations.
    I have to ask: is the light emitted supposed to be in the visible spectrum? Or is it UV or IR? I've never seen it that I recall- and looked. Both lamps look to be intact and firmly placed, but I can't tell if they are working. I have the enclosure kept sealed with tape and I don't see dust in there when I remove check. The circuit board is not exactly 'solid', but fixed in place. The light pipe is clear, too. Now I mainly use a magnifying mirror (awesome tool to use!) to double-check the window from beneath, as removal for inspection is, from experience, meritless.
    Note that it works great when it wants to, so there has to be proper function at some point. Additionally, I know the sensor 'sees' the edge/ends of the board because it stops/stutters there. (I know the compression rollers affect end reading location determination.)
    I have not, however, taken the truck off the machine as you have pictured. (Starting to smell REALLY frickin' GOOD in here!) I guess I'll do that and remove the 4pin cable altogether and go at it with my multimeter. It's likely OK, because it doesn't flex at all, but the vibration you mentioned could have damaged it, I guess. The QC Chuck run-out vibration issue has been corrected on my machine- after 2 chucks and several BB'd bit holders, I modified mine to take the QC out entirely- and now I'm running a modified Dremel shaft/chuck assembly in a welded-together bit holder/chuck mount (the parts that threads onto the arbor in the truck) with excellent results..INCREDIBLE improvement in detail and has never yet made me wonder if it's robust enough!
    I'll check the readings while rolling the truck Y-wise first to see about the 18pin cable. If the cable is at fault (sounds more likely as we go along) I might be able to bridge the issue. Done dicier things!

  10. #10
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    Wow Eastcutty! You have mastered this machine, basically on your own! Now that you have found this great resource, Things can only get better! The generosity and camaraderie here, is inspirational! With that said, I am sure you will straighten that board sensor out!
    "Carved with Love"

    Happiness comes from within.
    But joy comes from helping others.

    Measure twice... and then sneak up on it!

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